A ‘Maritime Aspect’ in Late Bronze Age Cyprus?

  • Fabian Heil (Author)

Identifiers (Article)


Late Bronze Age Cyprus was involved in an increasing exchange of goods and ideas throughout the Mediterranean. As it is linked with far-reaching trade routes, the development of Cypriot culture is said to be in direct relation to the production and distribution of copper, even to be responsible for the emergence of local elites and also connected with ritual activities and procedures. As the actual exchange of copper is based on maritime trade, an attendant ‘maritime aspect’ has been proposed. By charging objects with an apparent maritime connotation, as it was done for seashells, images of marine animals on pottery, graffiti of ships and so-called ‘stone anchors’, scholars are shaping these objects into icons of a ‘maritime aspect’, which has a great impact on the interpretation of local ritual practice during the Late Bronze Age. In this paper, the interpretation of this ‘maritime aspect’ is revisited and previous assumptions are challenged. Especially addressing the so- called ‘stone anchors’ can lead to the assumption of a more situational structure in ritual assemblages.